Let’s take stock. Not in a vague “omg 2020 was totes the worst!!!1!” way. In a methodical, forward-looking way.
So far this year, we’ve had:
- Australia go up in flames
- A near-war with Iran
- A presidential impeachment trial
- Brexit finally happened
- A vote-counting debacle in the IA primary
- A global pandemic
- Widespread closures and cancellations
- 17 straight weeks of record-breaking unemployment applications
- Millions of children trying to learn at home while their parents try to work from home
- Widespread protests against wearing a mask (?!?)
- Widespread protests against police brutality
- Leaving the WHO and trying to shut down Obamacare (great timing)
- 140,000 dead (that we know of)
- 3.6 million infected (that we know of)
- 30 million unemployed (at least)
What do we get to look forward to in the rest of 2020?
- More record-breaking heat waves
- More ups and downs in COVID infection rates, since we’re too impatient to do what it takes to stamp this out for good
- More openings and closings, as COVID rates fluctuate
- More unemployment and stock market instability, as openings and closings lead to more hirings and firings
- More culture wars and playing politics with people’s lives and livelihoods
- What will undoubtedly be the nastiest presidential election of our lifetimes (yes, even worse than four years ago)
- Widespread uncertainty about how many of us will be able to safely vote in November
- Maybe even a Constitutional crisis if we’re lucky! And who knows what else!
If there was ever a year to prove our society is broken, 2020 is it
I know it’s been an awful year and it takes all you have just to keep up and take things one day at a time. But we’re reaching a point where our essential political, economic, and social institutions are disintegrating at a dizzying rate.
This isn’t sustainable. We have to start acting now.
I wrote and published this book in 2019, before all the awful events of 2020 started happening. But I knew the direction we were heading wasn’t sustainable. I knew there was going to come a time when the crisis would reach the level it’s reached today.
I did my best to pull together everything I and other sociologists about how to really create positive change in the world, as a starting point for all the work we’re going to need to do this decade to turn things around. If you haven’t already, check it out.